When I mentioned this hunt in my column this past July, I said it was unusual. Turns out, that may have been an understatement. For starters, the hunt is conducted in an absolutely huge area. Nunavut itself is a quarter the size of the lower 48 states. The area I had access to is bigger than many of our individual states. Imagine being the only hunter in an area that size!
As you can guess, I only saw a small part of the hunting area. The Hamlet of Gjoa Haven is located on King William Island, but the hunting is conducted across the Simpson Strait, some 40-plus miles to the Adelaide Peninsula. On this peninsula there are some very large inlets that are fed by freshwater rivers, including the Back and Squirrel rivers, where I hunted. Getting there involves a boat ride across saltwater to the mainland, some 55 miles in my case. For this reason, I would recommend that anyone going on this hunt strongly consider using waterproof bags, including a soft gun case.
My Inuit guides, George Konana and Paulee Ikkuitisluk, were both experienced hunters, especially Konana, who is well known among polar bear and caribou hunters. They both spoke excellent English, so there were no communication problems. Included in this hunting experience was their unique table fare, complete with dried seal, caribou and fish, not to mention Beluga whale fin. I passed on the seal fat, and found the meals supplemented with plenty of food with which I was familiar. Everything was cooked on a Coleman........(continued)